Golf may seem to be a very difficult and complicated sport, but during a one-day golf experience at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club for beginners, we found out that it’s not as hard as you think.
In the first part of the day, we learned about golf from a professional golf coach. He taught us the basics of an effective golf swing. Even before you hit the ball, getting into a proper set-up position is key. Firstly, you have to grip the club and the right hand should be below the left hand for all swings.
Secondly, the posture is also important as your feet should be as wide as your shoulders and you should bend down a little bit. Some swings, such as the big tee-off swing, require you to have your legs bent a little bit. During this time you should also focus your aim and try to hit the ball using the centre of the golf club.
In addition to the physical aspect of the game, we learned that golfers must have good sportsmanship and integrity. Cheering for your fellow golfers and observing the etiquette of the game is just as important as hitting the ball well.
Interview with Hong Kong Pro Golfer Isabella Leung
When and how did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf when I was seven years old. I started playing because of my dad. He used to play golf and he wanted me to play as well, so he brought me to the range and that’s how I started.
What do you like and not like about golf?
I think golf is a very unique sport. It is a very mental game because of how long you have to spend on the course (something for up to 5 hours) and in extreme degrees heat, so you really have to be able to concentrate for 5 hours and still be able to play well till the very last hole. And that’s what I like about it, it’s not like other sports where it’s over very quickly, like running and swimming.
What is your training schedule like?
Normally, I will just come in at maybe 10 or 11 in the morning to practice my chipping, practice my putting, then practice in the range, and that will all take about 2 to 3 hours. Then, if I have time, I will go on the course and maybe play 9 or 18 poles for a couple of hours. If it’s 18 holes maybe it’ll take 4 hours, but if it’s 9 then it’ll maybe take 2 hours.
Have you ever encountered any difficulties in playing golf? Was there a time when you wanted to give up?
Plenty of times. Whenever I performed badly, obviously you don’t feel that good about yourself and you sometimes just want to give up. But usually, I pulled through every time and tell myself, “Okay, play better next time,” and just keep training and one day you’ll be able to play well.
How did you juggle academics with your golf career? Was it difficult?
Good time management is key, and there were a lot of nights where I stayed up until two or three in the morning to finish my homework. It was really hard when I was in college, so I had to get up at five in the morning, work out at 6am, then go to class and go to practice, and come back at six or seven to have dinner and then do my homework. It just requires a lot of determination, you’re just not allowed to slack off, or else you won’t be able to get any sleep that night.
Do you have a specific workout routine as a golfer?
I mostly do a lot of leg work or core work, these are the two most important things for playing golf, so usually when I work out I will focus on things like squats and planks, and I do weightlifting as well. As for my daily routine, I work out three times a week at the gym here (Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club) or a gym in Central.
What do you think the government can do to make people in Hong Kong more interested in golf?
The government can promote this sport by hosting more local tournaments. In addition, if a local player plays well in a game, then give them the support and media coverage that they need to support them, to show that there are golfers in Hong Kong who are very good at this sport. Hopefully it will in turn, promote younger kids to be interested in this sport and start playing.